Whole class marking and feedback
Whole class marking and feedback

Whole class marking and feedback

What, drawn, and talk of workload? I hate the word,

As I hate hell, all managers, and thee.

Have at thee, coward!
Here we are again in January 2024, still discussing our Marking Policy and bemoaning the workload.
Teachers should not be goaded into unreasonable marking and feedback practice resulting in longer, unreasonable working hours. The wellbeing bells are ringing loud and clear. Marking with feedback can be easily over-empahsised (Teacher Workload Review Group.)
Marks – some are universal, some are policy, subject specific, even literacy specific. Green pens, red pens, pencils (so learners can rub out the marks), mark grids, matrices and codes. Marking is planning.
Feedback often interlinks with marks. Many laud Hattie’s recommendations, cautioned by Wiliams. Some of my common feedback conversations include the follow perspectives.
  • Feedback is like sushi – it is best when it’s fresh.
  • Quality over quantity – targeted to the success criteria. It needs to be meaningful.
  • Feedback is not always positive – even when it is designed to be so.
  • Students deserve time to digest the feedback and to respond to it. DIRT (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) now common parlance.
  • Feedback should engage students to think deeply and be more work for the recipient than the donor. Hence I prefer questions to commentary.
  • Feedback that highlights a student’s strengths is as viable as corrective feedback.
  • Self and peer assessment are valid assessment processes.
  • Demonstrating the marking process is a viable strategy.

Whole Class Marking and Feedback

I read a handful of posts on whole-class marking, most referencing one Mr Thornton @MrThorntonTeach or Jodie Foster, and I decided to adapt the process to marry my own “marking with feedback” thinking and my students.


  1. Yellow highlighting identities where AOs are evidenced.
  2. Yellow area – specific feedback against the success criteria
  3. DIRT questions – provides opportunities for students to think deeply
  4. Orange highlighting – misconceptions.
  5. Red boxes – I think are self explanatory.
  6. GREEN DOTs (dot and circle) marks opportunities for student to identify and correct errors.
  7. Up arrows – opportunities to upgrade language.
  8. Polaroid moments – a borrowed phrase – thank you Mr Thornton


I prepared the AO and even added one of two words that I knew the students had struggled with. I then read the student books, making notes as I went. With the success criteria and the misconceptions – I wrote the “DIRT Questions,” and really enjoyed recording the “Polaroid Moments.” The original “cause for concern” changed to “working below the expected standard” (for that student).

I have asked the students for feedback on the process – I will add it to this post when it arrives. First impressions – the students engaged with the crib sheet and thoroughly checked their books.

They liked the process though found the sheets a little “bit much to take in.” They hadn’t made the connect between the yellow highlighted sections in their exercise books and the yellow feedback  box and DIRT task.


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  1. Pingback: Reading out loud – proven benefits – Edventures

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